Alfred Pennyworth had served the Wayne family for a long time.
And even though young Master Bruce had a father, and certainly now that he didn't, Alfred couldn't help occasionally feeling a fatherly affection for his young charge.
It was all in the little things- in the way he had to cajole Master Bruce into finishing his vegetables, offering him his favorite cookie as an incentive.
In the way he would sit up with Master Bruce late into the night when the boy had a fever, helping him to sip at chilled orange juice and mopping his burning forehead with wet cloths.
In the way he would make sure that Master Bruce didn't go to bed too late, and got up in time for school the next morning.
In the way he talked Master Bruce through his first crush, and then never spoke of it again after he was over it.
In the way he would help Master Bruce with his homework, especially history, because Alfred was very good with names and dates.
He could never mention this all to Master Bruce, of course, but the feeling was there, and Alfred wondered, and hoped occasionally, that Master Bruce might feel a certain familial affection for his butler.
But he could never ask, and even the thought of asking was anathema.
So Alfred simply continued on with his job, taking care of Master Bruce in every respect, and let himself to conjecture and devotion.